July 21, 2016

July 21

July 21, 2016:  Thursday, 16th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Sheep' tie bar;  "the shepherds rebelled against me" (1st reading)
  • 'Golden calf" tie pin:  "The prophets prophesied by Baal, went after idols" (1st reading)
  • 'Sea World' pin:  Living waters (1st reading), you give them drink from your stream (psalm)
  • 'Lights' tie:  "In your light we see light" (psalm)
  • 'Heart' tie bar:  Keep up your mercy, your defense of the upright of heart (psalm); gross is this people's heart (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin: “They've closed their eyes, but blessed are yours because they see" (gospel)
  • Green in shirt, tie, suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
Love is patient
The first word used is makrothyméi, clarified by the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where we read God is “slow to anger.”  It refers to not acting on impulse or giving offense. The God of the Covenant has this quality and calls us to imitate him within family life.  Paul’s texts using this word need to be read in light of Wisdom, extolling God’s restraint and leaving open the possibility of repentance, but insisting on his power.  God’s “patience,” shown in his mercy, is a sign of his real power.
Patience isn't letting ourselves be mistreated, tolerating aggression, or letting others use us.  When we think relationships or people ought to be perfect, or expect things to turn out our way, we react aggressively.  Without patience, we'll find excuses to respond angrily and be incapable of living together, antisocial, and unable to control our impulses; and our families will become battlegrounds.  “Let bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, slander, and malice be put away from you.”  Patience takes root when I recognize others also have a right to live, whether or not they hold me back, unsettle my plans, annoy me, or are what I want them to be.  Love leads to accepting others, even when they act differently from what I'd like.  (IV:91-92)
    "Broken cistern" word cloud -tagul.com
  • Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13  Jerusalem, you loved me as a bride and followed me but then defiled my land, rebelled, and went after idols.  You've forsaken me, source of living waters, and dug yourselves broken cisterns.
  • Ps 36:6-7ab, 8-11  "With you is the fountain of life, O Lord."  Your mercy, faithfulness, and justice reach to the clouds.  We take refuge in you, have our fill of your gifts, and drink from your stream.  In your light we see light.
  • Mt 13:10-17  “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom has been granted to you but not them.  I speak to them in parables because they look and hear but don't see or understand.  The prophecy is fulfilled:  You shall hear but not understand, look but never see.  Gross is their heart....  they have closed their eyes, lest they see, understand, and be converted and healed I heal them (Is 6:9-10).  “But blessed are your eyes and ears, because they see and hear....”
    • Creighton:  Today's readings identify relationships with God in need of work, with Jeremiah and Jesus the “couples' therapists.”  Israel is described as an unfaithful spouse, perhaps to induce fear and to persuade via empathy.  Israel was infatuated with her new partner, made commitments, then saw the infatuation fade.  Jeremiah may be evoking the damage and hurt people feel after infidelity.  The Gospel warns about a relationship dying from lack of effort by one partner.   Jesus wants listening, reflection, and response....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "In love again":  Many lose their first love; their hearts "sluggish," the Spirit quenched, their flame no longer bright.  But "the Lord's mercies are renewed each morning, so great his faithfulness."  The Lord says, "I'll allure you, lead you into the desert and speak to your heart...  You'll  respond as in the days of your youth."  Let him love you as of old, and live in his love....
      St. Lawrence of Brindisi,
      "Capuchin renaissance man"
    • Passionist:  A parable is an invitation to go deeper into our relationship with Jesus, a challenge to understand discipleship.  If we accept, more understanding will be given.  The more we accept Jesus' sacrifice for us, the more our lives will change, but we can resist such change, pushing God away.  To open ourselves to the lesson of a parable is to be willing to be healed and changed by the love of God in Jesus Christ.  The more we seek, the more we'll learn and comprehend.  May we be willing to have Jesus teach us in parables....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Many longed to hear what you hear":  Isaiah warned that some would see and hear but not believe.  Some of Jesus' greatest skeptics were the scribes and Pharisees, who knew scripture; they saw and heard Jesus but refused to accept him and his message.  They were blind and deaf because pride and prejudice closed their hearts and minds. How could a carpenter's son from Galilee know more about God than them?  Only a humble spirit can open a closed mind.  'Disciple' means one willing to learn and submit to God's wisdom and truth.  God can only reveal the secrets of the kingdom to the humble who know they need him.  If we approach God's word with indifference, skepticism, and disbelief, then we may "hear but not understand" and "see but not perceive."  God's word only takes root in receptive hearts ready to believe and submit.  To hear and understand God's word, we must listen with reverence and faith.  "You're reading [scripture]?  No.  Your betrothed, Christ, is talking to you, united with you, tearing you away from solitude and bringing you to his home, saying, 'Enter into your Master's joy'" (Jerome). 

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